What a day!
This short story is to document everything that happened to me, recently, within a 24 hour period. The date was Ani DiFranco's show, the time and place the Universe (as we know it). First thing I did: made love. This is very important ... All you need is love! (Except for hitch-hiking and Music and the like.) It's especially good in the early morning, when screaming can severely annoy the neighbours.
Then I up and decided to hitch-hike. I do it all for the Music. My destination was about 300 kilometers away. No problem. Went to my favourite spot, got picked up lickety-split in about five minutes. Had a long discussion with this (quite serious) European guy with a buzz haircut about politics, especially Bill Clinton and Mr. W and the like. This guy was born in East Berlin and had a firm handshake. We discussed systems changing - and how it affects the people within them. He was about 30, said he had been stationed in Kosovo 8 years ago. Yikes! Nice enough guy, but after a few other shocking revelations, I asked, "Are you a cop?" "Yes, I am a policeman," he said. I knew it! Only cops can talk like that. But he was the helping-a-guy out type, a friendly controlleur picking up young rockers on the highway. Our discussions were robust. He revealed to me that in germany, the maximum sentence for killing someone is 15 years. Seems pretty lenient, said I. But then again, it may just seem that way, coming from a country where they fry people in the electric chair. We discussed the wrongs and rights of our world, and the Law. I told him about a new law in the US south that prohibits skater kids from wearing baggy pants that hang too low. Absurd! He laughed at that one, real good ...
When I arrived at my destination (way too early!) I had coffee with a girl psychologist friend of mine. (Make your own joke here!) She sized me up, she doesn't understand how I get around like I do. She says her 3 jobs are killing her. Very american of you, I said. I wondered if she killed herself if she'd receive a 15 year prison term, post-mortem. Then it was on to Ani's show. Rrrock solid. Simply beyond words - what can I say, go and see her play!
This is where the Oldenburg babes come in. Oh, you young delicious sluts! I met these two girls at the Depeche Mode show last year. Turns out they're Ani fans, as well. They just appeared out of the blue, outta the afterglow of the show, from behind the fog machines and sturdy stage, as I stood talking to my bud "the other" Todd Krankenfuss, Ani's bassist. Girls, who was that third girl in the middle? Damn! If you two weren't already together (Frauen Power!) and if I haden't already made love all morning (3 times) then I woulda been making love to all three of you for about 15 hours! (Five hours each.) Y'all had that amazing beauty around you, the kind that can only come from one of ms. DiFranco's shows. And the real song/story is this: Ani had a baby - yes, a Love Child!!! This is her new Everything. The miracle of life! So this is for you, and for her (the child) and the Mother, and the Earth. OK, now I'll cut the hippie crap and scream from the bottom of my neanderthal soul: THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING LIVE MUSIC!
Now I need a beer. Whew! Had the same thought on that night, and then it was off to the pub ('round midnight) with Todd and the Rosenstolz Two. Around 3 am I headed over to another party, already in full swing. But I walked in the wrong club next door. And I mean the WRONG club! Transvestites everywhere! Nice people, (like the Cop) but not my type. Which reminds me - the problem with all armies and policemen is that they wanna control, they think they are "above" the others. (Until a revolution firmly slaps them in the face.) Friends, this is crap. My Copper said that if they didn't "intervene" from time to time, in Afghanistan for example, then all these countries "would just do whatever they want." Which makes me wonder, um, "Why not?" I say live 'n' let live. Which brings me back to the transvestite bar. They were very nice, told me gently that I was probably in the wrong club. "Thanks, Candy," I said, and went next door ...
As I said, it was already in full swing, and there were all these B-movie Euro actors dancing around and having a great time. Completely wasted. All night. Some sort of movie wrap party, I suppose, with another friend of mine working behind the bar. It was a classic aftershow party, the kind I like, never-ending. I sat quietly in the coroner, oops! corner, as it all got more and more absurd. Dance, you posh, wasted bastards! Gawd, I love the Arts. And the DJ got more and more drunk, and I nibbled relentlessly on their catering. Tasty, yum yum. When the party ended at 9 am, we wished 'em all best of luck and zipped on home. She asked, "Wanna have an Irish Coffee with me?" To which I said sure, and then after two strong "coffees" told some hilarious jokes to conclude the day (sun already high in the sky) and dozed. Slept it off, woke up feeling fine and took the train to the next town ...
Thanks for all who participated. It was a wonderful day. Peace, -Todd
True feeling(s) can never be wrong ...
It is a Wednesday and off I go ...
To destinations unknown. (Or only to myself.) The Road is my companion! Peace, -Todd
And I say, "Go Gonzo ..."
Thank you, Doktor Yo-Yo!
This is for the amazing Yo-Yo Man from Canada. What a jam we had! We were the Session Parametics, we brought that jam back from the dead. 4 am and still kickin'. Tell ya, I think we took a wild idea and ran with it, hit a new plateau. Everybody does guitar solos, drum solos - NOBODY does a yo-yo solo! (not any more) Even Frank Zappa woulda been suprised and excited at that one. Pretty giddy, Geddy. I looked out at the crowd, and they were like, "What the fuck is going on?" Gaping mouths, that's how we like 'em. Yeah, that's right, we've got drum and bass, funky guitar, and my man is doing a solo with his yo-yo. "There is NO OTHER YO-YO SHOW in this town tonight!" Gonzo! Walk the dog, walk the dog. 'Round the world. Ya said you met Hunter S. Thompson once, and that is truly great. I submit that we invented the free-wheelin' solorific nu-style that night. A pre-cursor to the future of solos, perfect in it's form. Zany. Ultra. Limit-less.
Interlude: What is a yo-yo? A symbol of Life, up and down, up and down ...
And the two Finish kids in the crowd, one of them sporting his 18th birthday, swigged and said, "That was a sweet show." They stumbled back home through the autumn waters of the night. And some other guy came up to me afterward and said, "Ya know, if you guys fine tune that, it could be really good ..." Ha! He didn't know it was all just a gag. Even the part where your string got all tied up in knots, they thought that was part of the show! But you're still the Amazing Yo-Yo Man to me, King of the Yo-Yo Solo(s). Peace, -Todd
(Or: "Why Girls Shop")
There are many reasons to shop. (She says.) Oh-so-many reasons. Why do they shop? And can they be stopped? It´s their duty beautiful. Is it in their genes? This is one man's essay, a quest for understanding. My girl, she's a shopping junkie. She´s the shopping queen, she makes me scream. She shops because she can. She shops, because it's there. She shops, therefore she is. A Diva she is, in tune with the common (wo)man. Her friends agree. They get together and shop like mad hatters, as if it matters. (´cuz it does)
Poetic interlude: She goes shopping when she´s happy, goes shopping when she´s sad, goes shopping when she´s good, goes shopping when I´m bad. But, WHY?
Part 1: Shopping is SEXY!
This is the lay-away plan of hidden desires. I like coffee cubano and forbidden cigars. She goes window shopping for shoes and american cars. Tell ya, she´s dangerous on her day off. This could go on for hours. Shoes, shoes, shoes! (Pass the booze.) We are yin n' yang, opposites attract, intact. These are the Laws of Nature. Yes, the hunt is sexy. She´s dressed to kill. She´s dressed for success. She gets all dressed up, sexed up (to buy more clothes!) Stay hard for the avant-garde. Get down, girl! (The price.) I´m her succulent assistant. I stick my shiny solid-gold-card in the slot and she squeals, "Ooooh ..." She´s hot stuff, consumed by a burning fire. She´s got something (hot, hot, hot!) cooking under that new smock. With Soul Kitchen intentions she licks the competition. She´s a material girl. Go to the light! (A Blue Light Special, your beacon towards enduring happiness.) With bedroom eyes she buys and buys and buys. Scans the horizon for deals yet unseen. Lingerie, skirts, socks, boots, oh my! I can´t compete, I wanna raid Flavor Flav´s wardrobe!
-Her favourite songs:
"Mama Told Me, Ya Better Shop Around." and
"I Still Haven´t Found What I´m Looking For."
-Least favourite: "I Do Not Want What I Have Not Got."
Part 2: Shopping is Political - FRAUEN POWER!
Berlin shoppers, UNITE! There´s the red, the green, the black, the blue. Once again, we´re talking about the shoe(s). A vast democratic majority (of shoppin´ gals) will have their way, any ol´ day. Or night. Awright, awright. They´re one with the cosmos. It´s a matter of CHOICE (what to buy). Style, size, colour, design. It´s an affliction, a disease - but one they have no desire to change. You can´t stop the fever, and (be honest now) why would-ya-wanna? Each shopping spree strengthens the sistahs. (Say that ten times fast!) They were born to do this deed ...
It´s their destiny. Shopping is timeless - past, present, future.
Poetic interlude, 2Be: "We´re gonna shop around the clock tonight, we´re gonna shop-shop-shop ´til broad daylight!"
Part 3: Girls just wanna have FUN!
They shop for the sake of shopping. (For goodness´ sake!) They shop to their heart´s content. Shopping is insanely fun. (Or it can be.) Fun is "in," vogue, even cool, sayeth some. (The Fun.) Fun begets more fun, it breathes, it breeds. (see "Sexy," above.) How can you fight the Fun? Get with the flow, jump in the river of life. Be one with the Fun. C´mon boys, don´t you get it yet? You fucking meat-heads! You WILL get it (ahem) if you go shopping with her! Go shopping now, and enjoy it. Erase the guilt! A guilt-free society is a happy one ...
Part 4: Shopping is SOCIAL!
Us and them. She shops with friends to make amends. They create new trends. Daily. Her taste will save the day. I can wear the same thing day after day (usually on tour) but they are constantly in flux, movin´ and groovin´ - nibbling on the outer fringes of fashion. But it´s the intricate mystery of this act that will bring us (all) together. I suggest they start the International Shopping Federation (for Fair Prices / Anti-Globalization). Be all you can be. They want cheap-prices galore, much less, no more. Even if we don´t understand (We, The Along For The Ride) we roll our eyes and shut our clapper. We´re the silent minority, the boys who accompany them, we nod to each other in secret code. But we support them in
their frenzy, we are fools (in Love). We are neutral observers in their passion play. They are lost in a cosmos of consumer desire. One riddled with planets, places we (he-men) can view through rose-coloured binoculars, but cannot stay. Hey, hey.
Men are simple creatures. Möchte gern machos with neanderthal thoughts. We have our wants, our needs. When I go shopping, I know exactly what I want. (Czech beer, pizza, pommes, ya know: the basics.) No if, ands, butts about it. Get in, get out. I´m a heathen. I am a sad sack, a cool yet clueless hobo, mean-ingless observer to their endless, joyous folly. But I´m a secret admirer. Yes, I will join them on the hunt (for good products). For them, the journey is it´s own reward. Shop on ... Oh, how they love it! To dawdle is an art form, finely tuned. Let´s extend this timeless act of friendship, the ritual of shopping. I want to change my vision, with eagle eyes for the Deal. Their vision will become my vision. Hobby becomes obsession.
Part 5: Shopping is SPRITUAL!
Welcome to consumer heaven. Hallelujah! Yes, brothers and sisters, we need a spiritual awakening, over-priced goods be damned. It´s the dawn of a new (shopping) era. For those about to shop, we salute you. Shopping is their religion, their solemn oath. I don´t want to sow seeds of doubt into their belief. Is there a force out there, greater than ourselves, that pushes us to shop? Through the stratosphere and into the mall? There is nothing on this
earth that can stop their second-hand desires.
Poetic interlude, 3D: She shops right on past the dark side of the moon, then she wants to spoon. She cannot stop, she´s OUT THERE!
Outta this world. Shopping is its own mass universe unto itself. Spiritual, universal. One step beyond. A solar system for cosmic beings in the material world. Like Captain Kirk said in that 70´s black ´n´ white Twilight Zone episode, "There´s something out there ... on the wing." Shopping is FAR OUT! Let´s face it, the 70´s must have been the ultimate ... with
everyone taking LSD, throwing off their crazy outfits and fucking all over the place! Those of us living in the moment, the now, should learn and yearn for the great beyond. We are the Salvation Army of fashion. Let´s keep seeking, explore the outer regions of our minds. Take us to that higher level, Ye Shopping Gods. That nirvana-blissful-thinking paradise: of supply and demand, give and take, universal values for all wrought with jumpin´ jimminy wheeler-dealer guardian angels of Bargains.
Be holy. Cut loose, go wild. The perfect Outfit is the mirror of your soul.
Truth be told, I think if they were to stop shopping, (tho´ the curse of men who understand not, cannot stop the ritual) my heart, too, would stop. Like that song from Houses Of The Holy, "What Is And What Should Never Be."
Shop `til you drop, girls!
Peace, -Todd 007
A quick-poem for the Overwhelmed, the gentle people world-wide who wish for an era of (mutual) understanding ... Less is more, for: This world is cruel - this verse is to embrace the quiet voices, in tune with the sonic sub-conscious underground of Humanity. If the mainstream consists of violence, persecution, and retribution, I'm going underground. Peace, -Todd
For my jollygood Italian friends:
"This is Day One. Of a friendship that will last a lifetime ..."
About last night - what a happening, a wingding, a must-do-again-soon ballyhoo, what fun! We walked right in that art gallery, presently and pleasantly uninvited, upped the ante and drank (lava) rivers of red wine! Piece on the south wall, the girl with bedroom eyes - they wanted 7000 euros, you said seven bucks. Shucks ... heh heh! We create our own value system. Watch Basquiat wince. And the beatbox voices taking over the DJ to make 'em dance (even the well-to-do) and impromptu trumpet solos from our mouths, youthful/truthful golden instruments. They dug us! I saw her twice, I swear, say to her compadre under her breath, "Who are the 2 guys in the hats?" Yeah, they NOTICED. Hats off! We were dancing naked in the corner, (of their minds) blessed with the gift of creativity. Synchronicity. Punks and bankers mingling eclectic-ally ...
And now I remember the name of the writer on the wall, the one we couldn't put a name on, the colourful portrait with butter-Scotch eyes: Charles Bukowski! The perfect greeter at the door to the house of friendship. More to come! Peace, -Todd